CINCINNATI — Jessie Bates was hoping to sign a long-term contract extension with the Bengals before the start of the regular season, but he didn't get his wish.
The 24-year-old is in the final year of his rookie contract. Bates emerged as one of the NFL's best safeties last season.
"I wish it would have gotten done, obviously," Bates said. "They got Sam (Hubbard) done. I was hoping to be the next guy up. But like I said, it is what it is. I’m going to play my part. I’m going to be a captain of this team and next year, we’ll see what happens."
Bates finished with 109 tackles, three interceptions and 15 passes defensed last season. He led the team with nine tackles in Sunday's 27-24 win over the Vikings.
"I guess I haven't done enough yet to be considered one of the top safeties in this league," Bates said in August.
There was still some hope that a deal would get done before the start of the regular season, but the Bengals were unable to sign Bates. Now the star safety is set to become a free agent next March.
"I think I’m going to continue to show it with my play and be a little pissed off, for sure," he said. "That’s kind of how I’ve been my whole life, honestly. I haven’t really been a big name. Some of the people that were my people probably didn’t believe I would make it this far. That’s why my slogan is ‘Just Believe.’ It’s going to continue to be that. We’re going to see, like I said, what happens next year."
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